Tree Alchemy: Hydrosols and Essential Oils from Sacred Trees

The Druid's Garden

Nature can provide tremendous wisdom and healing, especially when we work with our local ecosystems and ecologies. One of the most powerful ways of working healing with nature, I believe, is to combine the innate healing properties of plants with your own various kinds of medicinal preparations. The plants and trees offer the raw material and your hands and tools shape that material into something that heals the body, mind, and/or spirit. Working to transform tree and plant matter through alchemical processes into medicine–and then taking that medicine–can be an incredibly powerful way of establishing deep relationships not only with the living earth but with the trees themselves. Today, I want to talk about a particular kind of medicine known as a “hydrosol” and talk about how you might make your own with plant and tree material.  This is especially beneficial for today as many of us are thinking about…

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Catch 22 Is Alive And Well

By Paula & Oro Cas

Catch-22:  A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

I sit looking at this document wondering how to write about the craptastic Catch-22 that has appeared in my husband’s life. My husband is one of the millions of people who suffer with chronic pain. His journey to where he is today began 35 years ago when he worked for a traveling carnival. While working to repair a ride, the clutch holding the ride’s car opposite the repairmen failed sending the cars around the track. Hubby and two other workers fell 50 feet resulting in multiple fractures and life threatening injuries. Combine those injuries with 30 years of commercial truck driving, a near fatal lightning strike resulting in damage to his nerve sheaths and joints, along with degenerative disk disease, stenosis, scoliosis, and osteoarthritis … We have a perfect storm of chronic pain.

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Liebster Award Nomination


Many thanks and blessings to Paul over at pvcann for nominating me for the nomination. This is new territory for me as it is my first nomination EVER! When I open my email this morning it was, “I got what? Holy cow!” I was more than a little excited.

I am an avid reader, but I usually get distracted by real life demands before I remember to express my appreciation for the author. I’m getting better about that. So, make sure to visit pvcann for peek into his outlook into life.

Though I am writer, most of my postings are topics written by others who seem to express my thoughts better than I do, and inspire me to share.

The Liebster Award recognises and celebrates bloggers, their content, skill, and contribution to the blogging community. The rules for accepting a nomination are:

Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog.

Answer the questions.

Nominate 11 bloggers to encourage them.

Ask them 11 questions.

Let them know you have nominated them.

Onward to the questions:

Answer The Questions

1. Name you best travel destination.

As a retired over the road driver and gold miners, my husband and I have traveled through the 48 contiguous states. We’ve found many hidden treasures in our travels, but I would have to name Colorado Springs, Colorado as one of our best.  Though they have some of the same problems as a BIG city, it also has a small town feel. It’s only a short drive to all the things you visit Colorado to see.

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Sylum Advent 2017: December 29th ~ Sylum Teasers & Snippets



Title: Waiting For Me To Catch Up
Characters/Pairings: Jeremiah Parks/Ray Kowalski; Benoit Franciscus; Ray Vecchio; Peter Parker; Original Characters; Members of Tallikut Clan
Rating: PG
Summary: When Jeremiah Parks returned to the city of his birth, his life was in such turmoil that he failed to realize the most important thing in the middle of all the chaos. Now he has to learn to open his life to someone new.

~ Chicago, Illinois, February 2005 ~

Sitting with his chin resting on his fist, Jeremiah Parks watched the snow beginning to accumulate on the branches outside his office window. An email from his Operations Manager containing the year end numbers on his clubs had put him in a contemplative mood. The numbers were remarkable considering he’d bought and remodeled one property, and sold one. If the next six months continued the same way, it might be time to think about the best city for this year’s club. He was sure something would drop him a clue.

Reaching for his coffee cup, the light flashed off the diamonds and sapphires embedded in the wide platinum band on his left hand. A soft smile lightened his mood thinking about all that happened in the past seven years, including a trip to Massachusetts two weeks ago. He’d have to talk with his Mate about where he wanted to take a honeymoon trip, or maybe he should make the trip a surprise.

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Sylum Advent 2017: December 19th ~ A Scribe’s Tale: Queen Mousette

By Paula Cas



Title: A Scribe’s Tale – Queen Moussette
Author: Paula Cas
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Queen Moussette; Dilios/Robert Muldoon; Nicolaus Meridius/Warrick Calhoun; Shepsit Hemet Amun-Ra/Nefertiri; Clarissa Barton; Original Characters; Members of Sylum Clan, Tallikut and Vampire Council
Summary: With so many new Vampires in the Clans, it’s almost impossible for a simple scribe to keep up with all their stories. On a trip to New Orleans, Dilios looks forward to spending time with his Mate in beautiful New Orleans, but what else might a member of the Vampire Council learn in the city of magic and mystery.
Author’s Note: A huge THANK YOU to BJ Jones for allowing me to play in her ‘verse over at Sylum Clan. Love this ‘verse she created when a beloved character was ‘killed’. The Sylum ‘verse at: Sylum Clan Wiki. You can find all the fantastic stories at: Sylum Clan Manor ArchiveTHANK YOU to Taibhrigh for the terrific banner art for my Sylum stories.
Artist: Taibhrigh


~ Geneva Aeroport, Geneva, Switzerland, January 2016 ~

Dilios shifted his messenger bag to a more comfortable position after handing off his and Robert’s luggage to the flight crew. The self-appointed scribe to the Vampire population, had been thrilled when the Leaders of the Ghost and Darkness Clan had spent the holidays in Geneva. The South African Vampires might complain about the cold, but it simply didn’t seem like the holidays without snow. Lending half an ear to his Mate’s grumbling, he smiled as they climbed the steps of the Council’s jet.

“’Bout time we’re heading someplace where I’m not covered in layers so thick you won’t see skin ‘til midsummer. At least I can wear proper short pants until you nag all the Vampires in New Orleans into running us out of the States.” Muldoon continued until they were settled in their seats for take-off.

“The stories are much better when they come from the people involved. History is much richer if you can see and feel the emotions of the main players.” Dilios dropped his voice to a whisper. “It is what you asked of me, My King.” He felt love along with a rush of lust across their Bond.

“You have been even faithful to that request.” He growled. To distract himself from the desire to drag his Mate to the floor, and Claim him, regardless of Jason and the crew, Robert changed the subject. “Tell me about your latest victim.”

Hearing chuckles from the cabin, Dilios gave Bourne his fiercest glare. “I’ll be hearing from you and your cretin of a Mate, when I get back. I just know there are adventures you haven’t shared.” The chuckles tuned to groans as Jason went looking for other things that needed his attention.

After a quick stop in Lisbon to refuel, the passengers settled down to get some sleep in preparation for an afternoon landing in New Orleans.


Sylum Advent 2017 ~ Against The Tide

By Paula Cas



Title: Against The Tide
Fandom: Sylum Universe: The DaVinci Code; Predator vs Alien; Historical Figures;
Characters/Pairings: Ababuo/Sebastian de Rosa; Loch-Nah/Juba; Allan Quartermain; Robert Langdon/Leonardo DaVinci; Members of Ghost and Darkness, Medjai, Lealta Clans; Original Characters
Rating: PG
Summary: After being Turned, it seemed like Ababuo spent all her time going against the tide of society and expectations. Sebastian did what was expected of him until he didn’t.
Artwork: Taibhrigh

A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences … Dave Meurer

Sylum Advent 2016: A Place For Those Not Seen and Voices Unheard

My contribution to 2016 Sylum Clan Advent

Title: A Place For Those Not Seen and Voices Unheard

Characters: Jeremiah Parks, Ray Kowalski, Javier Esposito, Eric ‘Blade’ Brooks, Lady Heather, Evelyn Callahan, Benton Fraser, Ray Vecchio, Peter Parker, Alexandra Eames, Robert Goren, Tallikut Clan members, Sylum Clan members, Original Characters

Rating: PG-13

Summary: When Jeremiah Parks decided to live a Libertine lifestyle, he never expected he would become the victim of a psychotic Vampire. Over the years he creates havens for those who walk a different path.

Source: Sylum Advent 2016: A Place For Those Unseen and Voices Unheard

Seven Days of Summer – The Circles Of My Lives


Title: The Circles of My Lives

Characters: Thomas Magnum, Lily Catherine Magnum, Sam Axe, Henrietta Lange, Jonathan Quayle Higgins III/Herbert Westminster, Matthew Quigley/Dr. John Flynn, Franklin Frost/Richie Courtney, Tom Morrow, Lady Blossom/Jonathan C. Wales, Members of Oceania Clan, Members of Shogun Clan, Original Background Characters

Rating: PG-13

Summary: A new Vampire realizes what being a Vampire really means, and battles to accept the circles in his new life while remaining true to himself.

Artist:   Taibhrigh

Source:  The Circles of My Lives


The Magick We Make

Author’s Note: Original Fiction published in the 2011 Edition of Ginseng


Once upon a time in a city by the sea there were two people. Both were fair of face and form.

One was dark of hair and light of eye. A gift fueled by the magick of voice and the colors of words.

The other, was light of hair and eye. A gift fueled by the magick of music and the colors of words.

The dark one had come to the city from the far off land of Tul-soka. Though educated, the dark one spoke plain and possessed a vagabond soul, urging movement—looking for that which was missing.

The light one had been born by the sea, her songs a mother tongue. A talent for turning those songs into music the mundane could understand. Many miles were traveled, many lessons learned from others who also heard the magick in the nature’s elements. Always the gypsy soul returned to the city by the sea looking for that which was missing.

As nature will, the two souls drifted on the tides of Fate drawing them closer. The Powers of the Light worked diligently to bring the pair together. To be what they were always destined to be…the balance between The Light and The Dark. Trying just as diligently to keep the couple apart was The Power of the Dark, not wanting the pair to weave the magick of their words and music through the masses to spread their balance through the city by the sea, then out into the world.

A friend of kindred spirit, a mutual acquaintance held a celebration to commemorate his good fortune to gain employment with an acting company of high standing. Fate plucked the strings of their lives and the pair was invited and their time available to attend their friend’s celebration.

As was their want, when all the casual acquaintances left for their abodes, the circle of those closest in spirit opened their black cases. Instruments were lovingly tuned and melodies filled the air. All the voices died to just their two as their magicks combined to dance an aurora of color across the midnight blue sky.

Shy of each other at first, though they were constantly drawn together, the dark and fair began to pass time in each other’s company. Soon the gift of their combined magicks wove their words and notes into the colors that became threads, and the threads became the tapestry of their lives.

Their magicks drew the people with their hot and powerful energy. All wanted to bask in the rainbow—the power of their love and light their combined souls created.

As the Power of The Dark abhors the Power of The Light, The Dark began to whisper to the mates. Streaks of darkness began to poison and darken the vibrant energy. Breathy melodies growled in the blaze of passion became stabbing daggers of anger. Small rifts widened into crevices. Little scratches erupted into raw bleeding gashes that became deep scars. The bond between the two souls dimmed, became sickly, then snapped as the infection caused by The Darkness poisoned their souls.

In the final crescendo, scarred of heart and soul, the dark half fled their home. A pall of colorless silence settled over the land as the music and the magick died.

Far to the north in another city by the sea, the dark half found company with fellow entertainers. The work was exhausting and dangerous, but the pain of losing half of one’s soul shrouded the physical complaints.

The company’s patron was a man of show and flash, but with little substance. Always he pushed for bigger stunts, larger spectacles, and more explosions.

It was one such spectacle where pyrotechnics detonated too early sending the troupe into a silence of grief as they saw the dark half of the magickal couple lay broken and bloody on the stage.

It took many months, but patches of color soon began to appear in the southern city by the sea. They were not as vibrant, nor their energy as powerful, but the light half tried to carry on their magick with words and melodies.

That stopped the day a messenger appeared at their door. An accident…the dark half’s life hanging by Fate’s thin silken cord. The healers held little hope that Death would not claim the dark half, allowing The Dark to win the day.

The fair one raced to the dark half’s side. Fingers calloused from years of making their magick, reached out to touch the battered face that was as familiar as the one seen each day in the mirror, the light half whispered words of love, apology and forgiveness, voice hoarse with grief, entreating the other to hear.

Tears spilled unheeded as a pair of beloved eyes blinked slowly, and color filled the room. Joy, surprise, love and passion shone from the two sets of pale eyes. As long fingers traced the tears on the fair cheek, the monitoring machines and The Light shrieked their alarms.

When pale eyes opened, they lay on huge bed covered with sumptuous linens and silks. Eyes widened in surprise as they found no wounds or bruises covering the dark one.

They climbed off the bed and found clothing in their sizes and tastes, but made of the finest materials. Hand in hand they approached the door. Finding it unlocked they warily moved through the hall and down the stairs. Seeing what looked like a door out of the mansion, they looked around before starting that way only to be intercepted by a tall man dressed as a butler. He pointed toward another room. Hands still joined the pair moved the way he indicated.

They stopped barely inside a formal dining room, trying to digest what they were seeing. Opulence like they had only seen in pictures of the palaces of the kings and queens of old filled their vision. Sitting at the head of an ornately carved table was a handsome middle aged man, well groomed and expensively dressed.

Normally outgoing and personable with their followers, the pair simply stared at the man much the way a mongoose watches a cobra.

The man’s voice was melodious and smooth attempting to soothe the nervousness that became obvious as the dark one placed his body between the man and the light one. He beckoned them to join him at the table. When the servant would separate them to seat them on the man’s left and right, they protested so adamantly that a brief nod allowed them to stay together.

The table was laid with beautiful linens, china, silver and crystal. Food prepared to perfection filled the side board, servants standing at attention around the table to serve their every whim.

Instead of tempting the children of The Light, the pall of The Darkness that tainted everyone and everything in the mansion repulsed them. They maintained their contact afraid if they separated for any reason that one would lose the other. Having recently experienced the pain of being away from their other half, neither wished to relive that experience any time soon.

The voice continued to flow through the room, over their skin, along their nerves trying to slip into their minds as the voice had done before.

Seeing the couple resist angered The Dark. A tendril oozed through the room adding its power to that of the voice to get the balance to join The Dark. They could have whatever they wanted…be whatever they wanted if only they joined The Dark.

They fled the table, desperate to escape the suffocating power of The Dark. The ornate double doors slammed shut blocking their escape. They turned around to face The Dark, fingers tightly intertwined as they leant each other their strength.

Angered at their resistance, the tendrils increased wrapping around their bodies in a bizarre parody of armor trying to break apart their hands—to break apart their power. Determined not to let the poison of The Dark come between them again, they wrapped their arms around each other, foreheads resting together as they shared their breath—their love—their power.

As the tendrils continued to wrap around the two bodies, they cleaved to one another determined they would not be separated—they would be together forever.

The two souls screamed their denial at the smiling Dark. The Light sputtered, then flared as the magicks of the voices, words and music combined. Like the legendary Phoenix, the newly healed souls blazed from the tainted mansion returning to the outside world on the color of their songs.

~ Fini ~